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I bought this as it appeared to be a lip plumper aimed at long-term results rather than the usual plumpers which irritate the lips to give a temporary plumping for a few hours immediately after application.
It's a white creamy liquid which disappears into the lips and promises to "increase lip fullness as well as improve lip colour." I'm not sure how big an issue having a poor lip colour is, it's certainly not something I've ever considered myself.
It comes in a squeezy silver tube, which makes it difficult to apply without getting a massive blob and then spreading it around. I'd have much preferred some kind of wand.
On application there is a slight tingling - not the stinging you get with some lip plumpers, just a really subtle buzz. It's not sticky at all and is almost like applying a really light skin moisturiser to your lips.
I've been carrying it around in my bag for about two and a half weeks now, and applying it several times a day. The recommended usage says to "apply before bedtime for maximum results", which I have done a few times, but I'm mostly using it during the day.
I have to say, I haven't really noticed any difference to my lips. Admittedly I didn't take any before and after pics to properly compare, and maybe the change has been so slow over a long period of time so that I haven't noticed, but I feel like I know my own lips pretty well and they look exactly the same to me, both in terms of fullness and 'lip colour'. The only minor difference is that they are slightly less dry than they were, but you can achieve that by applying anything moisturising to your lips on a regular basis without spending nearly as much money.
I am going to stick to the instant plumpers which give a more immediate and noticeable effect, even if it is temporary.
I'd seen these bottles around and they caught my imagination instantly, I thought it was a really clever idea to have a kitsch, 'doll' for a perfume bottle. They each come with their own little character and a description of their personality.
This one is 'G', I guess after Gwen herself. I asked for it as a present for Christmas one year when I was struggling to think of something, as I'm a sucker for aesthetics and I thought the bottle would look cute on my dressing table. Admittedly, at this point, I hadn't actually smelled the perfume.
Yeah, I know, silly mistake. The thing is, despite being a self confessed 'girly girl', like jewellery, I'm just not that big into perfume. I like to wear it on a night out but I've never been a perfume connoisseur and don't go around for ages trying to find just the right scent, and I have never once bought perfume for myself, as I tend to get a couple of bottles for birthdays and Christmas, which will then easily last me the whole year.
I therefore thought it wouldn't really matter exactly what the scent was like, as I'm not fussy, and it was sure to have a pleasant scent, after all, isn't that what perfume is for?
I guess the one good thing the scent of this perfume has done for me is that it's taught me that I'm more of a discerning perfume wearer than I thought. The best way I can describe it is that it somehow manages to be 'sweet' and 'bland' at the same time, it's sort of sickly without much depth to it. I'm sure it must appeal to some people, but it's definitely not for me. I've only worn it a couple of times over the last couple of years, so it's still sitting there, practically full, on my dressing table. It does look pretty though.
It's retailing now at around £17 a bottle which is fairly good value for a perfume, but it's not something I'd personally ever want to spend my money on.
I bought these lashes as the Girls Aloud range was on offer at the time, and the 'Nicola' lashes looked the most natural out of the lot of them. (Plus, Nicola is my favourite member of Girls Aloud - us gingers have to stick together).
The lashes are slightly criss-crosses over each other, giving them a slightly 'fluffy' look, which I love. They're not massively long so aren't great for a dramatic, show-stopping look, more for enhancing the look of your lashes.
They're part of the Eyelure brand, which is a huge plus for me as the quality of their eyelash glue is unrivalled. I've bought different brands in the past, and even if the lashes themselves look great, the poor quality, watery glue means they end up peeling off your face before long and you end up endlessly reapplying, which is fiddly and annoying.
My top tip for applying fake lashes is to apply a thin layer of glue to the lash, and then wait for around 30 seconds for the glue to go tacky before applying to your lids. (Also, I always apply mine with my eyes open as I find it easier to judge the positioning, although I gather I'm in the minority with this).
Once on they will last the whole evening, and after the first mintue or so I generally forget I'm even wearing them. They make my lashes lok longer and fuller without being too overbearing. People have commented that I have great lashes without realising they're fake, which would be virtually impossible to achieve with some of the more 'stand out' versions.
The only downside is that I tend to only be able to get about 6/7 wears out of them before they start getting stuck to themselves and looking a bit straggly. I have bought these several times though, as I like to wear them for performing and there's nothing else out there which looks quite as nice as these.
They're retailing at the moment for around £5.60, which is about average value.
If you're looking for the obviously false, "Katie Price" look, these aren't for you. But for a nice, natural looking enhancement to your natural lashes, these are my absolute favourites.
So a long while ago, I decided to get a bit experimental with my makeup. As you can see, I'm a dyed red head, and there aren't a whole lot of cosmetic/ beauty products aimed at the flame haired demographic. (I'd kill for some red kirby grips, for example!)
I went through a faze where I really wanted to pencil by eyebrows to match my hair. However, it would appear that 'red' brow pencils don't exist. I got a bit imaginative and went for the next best thing, Barry M's red Kohl pencil.
I find it interesting that they call this an eyeliner when it's bright red. I've yet to come across anyone who lines their eyes with red, apart from perhaps on Halloween. I got this from Boots for £4, which is more expensive than the budget brands, but cheaper than some of the more luxury brands.
It appears to be of quite high quality, though - it's quite highly pigmented, and the consistency of the pencil is such that it's not too soft that it doesn't look defined, and not too harsh as to look obvious. Using the pencil on my brows gives them quite a nice reddish tint, which lasts for ages without the need for touching up.
Quite recently I found another use for the pencil - as a lip liner. I've never bothered with lip liner before, until someone I know insisted that it was the only way to get 'proper' retro style looking lips. It draws on lips quite well, although it seems to draw quite a thick line, whereas I'd prefer just a ver thin outline I can then cover with my favourite lippy. However, the thick line may just be due to my own inexperience using lip liner. It lasts quite well on lips, too, and being a brihgt red colour, goes well with my choice of lipstick.
This is a very versatile, good quality makeup pencil, and I would definitely recommend it to a friend.
This product was recommended to me by a burlesque performer friend who uses it on her legs and body on stage to help cover flaws. I've since discovered that quite a few performers use the stuff so I decided to give it a go.
I suffer from the skin condition vitiligo, and with it being progressive it's a lot more noticeable now than it was a couple of years ago. I've never been particularly self concious about it, but recently I've been in awe of the 'flawless' look on stage of some fellow performers, and decided it wouldn't do me any harm to apply a bit of specialised coverage to my bare legs to make my skintone more even.
You can buy Dermablend for face, or for legs and body. I went for the legs and body one as I already have quite a good stage face foundation. My main concern when buying foundation is that it won't be light enough for my skin. However, the lightest shade of this is an almost perfect shade for me and does not look orangey as I feared.
It is quite a think liquid, but not overly so, and absorbs quite well. I completely cover my legs in it and have found that while it doesn't make the vitiligo appearance completely disappear, it does make it significantly less noticeable. It also covers up other imperfections such as bruises, spots, etc. I use it after dressing so I don't get it all over my clothes.
The blurb for this product says you can use it to cover up tattoos, but if it's a dark tattoo I really don't see it being able to do the job to be honest, it's just not thick enough.
Another thing to note about this foundation is that it's not particularly easy to remove. It does say 'long lasting' on the bottle, and they're not kidding. Lathering up with shower gel doesn't *quite* get rid of it so I found myself using an abrasive loofah pad, but the stuff just ended up all over the pad instead of washing away completely.
I do think this is a good way of covering up minor skin perfections, though. If you're off on a night out and you have a bruise or something this is a perfect cover up.
Yep, been going a bit mad with the Soap and Glory stuff of late. It's possibly my favourite brand, combining great packaging with good quality and a decent price.
This one was a bit of a 'luxury' buy - I bought it to use as a pampering treat on special occasions. It's a mask which does state it's for greasy or spot prone skin, and although I hardly ever get spots, my nose can get a bit shiny from time to time so I'm always on the lookout for something to keep the oiliness at bay.
Again with Soap and Glory products, it's a tub which also has its own box. I can see why this is necessary on some products, such as the lipgloss where the tube is too tiny to give all the information needed, but on a fairly decent sized pot, to then encase it in a cardboard box seems a bit superfluous to me. (Excessive packaging is a bit of a bugbear of mine).
The mask itself is a light, clay-like substance, with little green 'beads'. The instructions inform you to rub the mask in until the green beads have dissolved, but I find that they don't seem to dissolve very well at all and after a while I get a bit bored of rubbing the stuff in, and so I just leave it there. I only use it on my nose as that's the only area affected for me, but you can use it on the whole of your face. According to the box, you can either leave it on for 1 minute for a quick fix type treatment, or leave it on for 15 mins for a full on facial treatment. I tend to go about half way and maybe leave it for 5-10 minutes, as I generally get bored sitting around after that. I'm not sure why they call it a 'peel' as it is almost definitely a clay mask, and is not at all like the clear 'peel off' masks you can get. If you're looking for something which exfoliates, again, this is not the right product for you, despite the misleading green 'beads'.
I wash it off with a cotton pad and some makeup remover, and the skin on my nose does look 'fresher' and less oily. Again, as with other products, I'm dubious about this 'pore minimising' claim. My pores certainly don't look any smaller to me.
I have noticed though, that for two or three days afterwards, the nose shininess has calmed down a bit, which is all I wanted out of it, really.
This was one of the first Soap and Glory products I ever bought, a couple of years ago. I was looking for a plumping gloss which was a reasonable price and which did the job.
I was seduced by the retro style packaging and the puntastic names they give products in the Soap and Glory brand, and at around £6.50, which it was at the time, I it was definitely more affordable than some of the more 'luxury' brands.
The gloss comes in its own box, which I guess it needs to as it gives ample space to explain the benefits of the gloss. The product claims to contain 'plumping microspheres' which 'explode' up to '10x' in volume. It is, I suppose, quite an impressive sounding claim, but I don't really have any idea what any of it means. Hopefully the gloss won't make your lips 10x larger, because that would just look ridiculous.
Beauty products are, of course, famous for inventing pseudo-sciency words and exaggerated claims, but even taking that ito account, this seems a little excessive. Anyways, I suppose it must have worked on me, as I went ahead and bought the product.
The gloss is extremely sticky and gloopy, and white. When using these types of products it is tempting to heap loads of the stuff on as you're thinking under the logic of 'the more I put on, the more noticeable an effect it will have', but with this I would advise just using a normal amount, otherwise you'll end up looking like you've been painting PVA glue onto your lips.
The gloss has a cinnamon spice type scent, and after a few moments, you begin to feel your lips start to tingle.
This product does work, but if you're after a dramatic change, you'll be left disappointed. I noticed my lips were ever so slightly plumper, but not really very noticeably so. The tingling also wears off quite quickly and I found myself reapplying every few hours.
Another annoying thing to note is that the lettering on the tube rubbed off quite quickly, and before long, I had a plain brown stick floating around in my makeup bag with no indication as to its contents.
All in all, this isn't a bad product really. But there are much better lip plumers out there and I prefer to spend a little more for more of an effect, so I won't be buying this again.
I was bought this as part of a gift set for Christmas along with the conditioner and a shine spray. They were the small, travel sized bottles, so I admit the box stayed unopened under my bed for a while, waiting for an opportunity to be used if I went on holiday. So it wasn't until June that I finally got these out of the box and packed them up ready to take with me.
I like the branding of the Lee Stafford products - the distinctive hot pink packaging makes them stand out, and gives them the impression of being both girly and edgy.
I've used Lee Stafford products before, and they are good. This shampoo is no exception. My hair is naturally very frizzy and curly, but using this shampoo did seem to noticeably calm my hair. It also left my hair feeling quite soft which was an added bonus. It doesn't make it 'poker straight' as the product name might suggest, but I've long since given up believing that there is a product in the world which is capable of doing that to my hair.
There was one downside to this product though. After using it a few times, it gave me a bit of an itchy scalp. I'm not particularly sensitive or allergic to anything, so this surprised me somewhat as I prtty much never suffer adverse reactions to products. To check it was definitely this shampoo causing the irritation, I switched to a different shampoo, and the itching stopped. When I went back to this one, after a few uses, the itching started again. This leads me to think there must be some pretty harsh chemicals in there, which puts me off a bit.
This, of course, was just a side effect that I experienced, and I may be in the small minority with that.
So, there's still about a quarter of the bottle left and I havne't used it in a while. I think I'm going to wait until I'm running out of my current shampoo, and then just use this one on the ends of my hair and keep it away from my scalp. I probably won't be buying it again, which is a shame, as apart from the slight irritation, it does do a great job.
You can buy this product in its mini form for just over £2.00, which sounds cheap but it is only a tiny bottle.
It was that time again where I had a Boots no7 voucher to use, and as I was running low on face powder I decided to give theirs a go.
The main issue for me when buying any kind of foundation is finding one with a light enough tone for my skin. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to discover the wide range of shades available. I went for the lightest - no1 - translucent.
The compact comes with its own application makeup pad, which is a nice, good quality sponge. My shade of powder was perfect for my skin, it's a really light, porcelain-beige colour. The lid comes off completely rather than flips up like some brands, and there is no mirror which would have been a nice bonus, but never mind.
The first thing I noticed with this is that it gives a really, really light coverage. If you're looking for a product to give heavy coverage or a dramatic look, this isn't for you. Once applied you can barely tell it's there, it just makes my skin look ever so slightly more even, and my pores are less noticeable. You can't see the powder at all, which is great if you're after the 'I'm not even wearing any makeup at all' look.
I never use this powder by itself as it doesn't give a heavy enough coverage for me. I now use it to 'set' the liquid foundation I apply beforehand. I also keep it on hand to dab on my nose if I see it getting a little greasy, it does do a good job at keeping that area matte.
When I bought this, a while ago, it was around £7, but a quick google search shows it's gone up a bit. This is around standard for no7 products, you can of course find cheaper brands, but with something like powder I find it's better to go for quality.
All in all, I'd say this powder is ok, but it's just too light for me. I don't think I'd get it again.
Unlike most of the people reviewing beauty products on here, I'm not really a fan of Lush products. I find them too heavily scented and overpriced.
I was bought this lip scrub as a present from a friend, it's not something I would have thought to pick out myself. I have to admit for the first few weeks it was just sitting there unused, as exfoliating my lips isn't something I generally think to do.
However, I do every now and again get dry patches on my bottom lip. I remembered the lip scrub and decided to give it a go.
When opening the pot, it basically looks like a pot of sticky sugar. It has a very sweet scent to it too, but this is not unpleasant.
It has just about the right consistency for lip exfoliation, it's not too harsh, but it's rough enough to do the job. I rub it into my lips in a circular motion. As it's an exfoliant and not a balm or anything, the stuff just stays on your lips. I'm not sure which is the correct way of removing the product, but I've found I tend to just lick it off and eat it (!) But I have no idea if you're meant to do this or not.
The thing is it does taste quite nice, it's sugary with a hint of mint.
It does seem to work, it helps to get rid of the rough, dry bits of skin and leave my lips feeling a bit smoother. As with any exfoliant, it's important not to overuse it, or you'll risk getting sore skin.
This product is on the Lush website at the moment for £4.95 which I guess isn't too bad, but is possibly slightly more than I would want to pay for it.
However, I find myself using this product more often than I thought I would, which is a good sign. Although it's a tiny pot I've used it quite a bit and there's still loads left, so I think it will last quite a while. I imagine that by the time I've used the pot I'll be completely addicted to the stuff and will be off to get more.
Again, I had a no7 voucher to use so I decided to go for a moisturiser as I was running low.
There were several to pick form in the no7 range - a lot of them were 'time delay' type things, which I assume is marketing speak for anti ageing. I went for the most simple-looking one, "Essential Moisture", which they've apparently registered as a trademark (no, I'm not sure why either).
Moisturiser is one of those products I only use on occasion, mostly when whichever facewash I'm using leaves my skin feeling a bit tight, or during the winter months when the particularly harsh weather affects my skin. I only really use it on my cheeks as this is the only area which really gets dry.
I like the tub of the moisturiser, it's the standard simplistic yet luxurious feel which characterises the no7 brand. It had a pearlescent tint to it and looks quite pretty on my dressing table.
The moisturiser itself is pink and is pretty much scentless. It's quite a thick substance so I only use a tiny, tiny bit, not much larger than pea sized for each cheek. This means of course that one tub lasts for absolutely ages.
It soaks into the skin quite well and cures any dryness or tightness. It also gives a nice healthy glow. I would advise waiting around 10-15 mintues after using the moisturiser before applying any makeup, as I've found it can cause foudation (both powder and cream) to clump if applied too soon.
At around £9.00, this is quite an expensive moisturiser, and to be honest I'm not sure it's special enough to justify the price tag, as I've had cheaper ones in the past which perform to about the same standard.
However, it does the job, and if you're feeling flush and want to spend that little bit extra, (or have a no7 voucher to use!) it makes a nice little addition to your skincare range.
No7 is one of those brands that I only tend to buy when I have one of those Boots vouchers to use up, as I usually go for one of the cheaper brands such as Simple.
I don't actually use toner very often at all, it's just when I'm pampering myself and decided to do a full, proper, cleanse, tone and moisturise ritual. To be honest, I never really got the 'tone' part of this often quoted skincare mantra - so you remove impurities with the cleanser, moisturise your skin with the moisturiser... what does the bit in the middle achieve?
Well, after using this product, I can tell you that it adds a certain 'freshness' and 'brightness' to your skin. I guess it's meant to even out your skintone but as I suffer from vitiligo this is virtually an impossibility for me and is something that can only be corrected with a clever use of makeup.
I use the toner with the cotton pads you use for removing nail varnish. It has a 'fresh', almost cucumbery scent to it, and doesn't smell of chemicals at all which is a huge skin care turn off for me. It takes a bit for your skin to dry afterwards, so it's good to leave it for two or three minutes before applying moisturiser.
When I've run out or makeup remover or facewipes I sometimes use this toner to freshen up and removde excess makeup, and it does quite a good job.
At around £7.50 it is more expensive than a lot of other brands but you can definitely tell where the extra money has gone with this. When I've used cheaper toners in the past I haven't noticed much of a difference at all.
I'd definitely recommend this product to someone who was looking for a decent no7 product.
I've only really been pencilling in my brows for about a year and a half. I did try a couple of attempts before then but it never really looked quite right, and I felt like my eyebrows stood out against the rest of my face.
When I did eventually decide to give it one last go, I went for the Rimmel brand as it's reliable and affordable. This pencil was around £2.80 from Boots. I've been really lucky as the brown shade is perfect for me - not too dark, with a tiny, tiny hint of red.
The pencil itself os not too hard nor too soft, so it's great for getting the level of definition you're after. If you're new to using brow pencils I highly recommend starting off really softly and building up as you gain more confidence. It's important to do tiny little strokes which mimic your eyebrow hairs, rather than draw one long line, which can look a bit silly.
The pencil comes with a little brush attached to the lid, which I do use occasionally, but not that often. After defining my brows I sometimes blend them a bit with my finger afterwards where some of the lines might have been a bit too harsh.
I find that once applied, the pencil lasts really well, almost too well in fact! If you're looking to completely remove the pencil you'd have to use a proper make up remover. I tend to ust leave it though, as it doesn't have any effect on your skin and looks fine a bit faded.
I've been sruggling to get a true vintage look to my hairstyles using hair straighteners or curling tongs, so on a recommendation from a vintage hairstylist friend, I invested in some hot rollers.
These aren't something I'm used to using and at first they can be a bit fiddly and cumbersome. They take about 10-15 mins to heat up, which compared to the 30 seconds or so it takes my hair straighteners, is a bit of a pain if you're in a rush.
One of the rollers has a red spot which turns black when they're good to go, so it's easy to know when they're ready. However I've found once you open the lid to begin applying the rollers, some of the heat must escape as the spot starts turning red again (most annoying). I try and keep the lid shut as much as possible as I'm going along to keep the rollers nice and hot.
The rollers come in three different sizes, which completely threw me at first as I wasn't sure which ones to apply where and there were no instructions to tell me. I first started using the bigger ones first, but I've since found that using the smaller ones first, starting from the top front parts of hair, working to the back, and then doing the underneath layers after with the larger rollers seems to work best.
They can burn your fingers a bit but this is just the nature of the beast with heated rollers, unfortunately. The central part of the rollers are sort of a velvety material which holds the hair well, and stops it from getting caught or slipping out. They come with pins to hold the rollers in place, which can sometimes be a bit fiddly to apply, and don't hold as well on the lower layers of hair.
The advantage of using rollers over tongs or straighteners is that once they're in, you can just leave them and get on with what you're doing as they set. I tend to get on with doing my makeup and choosing what to wear while I'm waiting for them to do their thing. It takes a about 20 mins for them to cool down, but I always leave them 30-40 mins if I can just to be safe. I also apply hairspray before, during, and after as I find this helps with the hold.
When you first take the rollers out it can be a bit of a shock if you're not sure what to expect - the hair bounces more or less straight back to the rolled state. I run my fingers through the curls to get them to drop a bit, and it then looks great. The only problem is that the optimum look of the curls seems to be the first three hours after this - the curls after that time completely drop and you're left with soft waves, even on my hair which is thick and natually curly and so usually holds curls quite well. This is extremely disappointing.
These rollers are good for a special occasion, but if you need them to look good for more than a few hours it won't do the job I'm afraid.
I asked for this specifically for my birthday as having had a good look through different mascaras in Boots this one looked the most promising.
I'm a big fan of huge, chunky brushes with lots of bristles, as these seem to work best on my lashes. This brush also had the traditional fibre bristles, as opposed to the plastic bristles a lot of new mascaras tend to have (I think these are generally awful).
I'd probably never buy this mascara myself as at around £16 I do think it's overpriced, and you can get very similar performing mascaras for much cheaper. But as it was a present and I knew the Benefit brand had a good reputation, I decided to give it a try.
The mascara comes in its own box - to me this is basically wasteful packaging, but it does add to the 'luxury' feel of having the product.
The mascara itself is very good - it doesn't tend to clump, and gives a thick enough coat that you don't have to add several layers to get a good effect. This also means you are using less mascara so the product lasts longer. After several hours of wear, there is no smudging or flaking, which you do often get with budget mascaras. It also covers my lashes right up to the tip, so it doesn't make them look any shorter than they are.
You can get away with wearing this during the day or on a night out, the effect is not too dramatic for the office, but with added eyeshadow and eyeliner, looks dressy enough for the evening.
The obvious downside to this mascara is the price. As good as it is, I really don't think it justifies spending that amount of money. But if you're stuck for a nice present to get a girly mate, or can't think of anything to ask for yourself, you could do a lot worse than this.